Get to know Christine H., our part-time bookseller and in-store accounting assistant. She joins us on the blog today to tell us a little about herself and the songs that have defined her life’s journey!
My name is Christine Havens; I’ve been at BookPeople since September 2015 and currently work on Saturdays as a bookseller. Gushing to people — customers, colleagues, friends, strangers — about books is one of my passions. In the hopes of making more connections with book lovers, here’s a 15-song playlist that might help you get to know me.
Here’s a little bit of context around these particular selections and why and how they exemplify who I am at this point in my life. Some are simply songs about where I’ve lived, some say something about my personality, and some are grounded in my soul and identity. They aren’t necessarily in order of release, but rather in order (mostly) of when they stood out in my life.
The first six songs encompass my childhood and into my twenties (including marriage and divorce). I was born in Iowa; much of my family still lives there. You will see me wearing an Iowa State ball cap from time to time. My alma mater is the University of Northern Iowa (English & Creative Writing), but they don’t play against UT. I love science fiction and fantasy, having watched Star Trek: TOC in the 70s and onward. Monty Python’s Flying Circus and other madcap, intellectual comedy influenced my sense of humor; I have a long list of SF/Fantasy titles to recommend and love to discover new ones that customers are reading.
“Some are simply songs about where I’ve lived, some say something about my personality, and some are grounded in my soul and identity.”
As for “Words” and the Bee Gees — they are my favorite singer/songwriters of all time, and this song probably best typifies my romantic nature as well as my passion for writing and words. The Muppet Movie is also big influence on my sense of humor —Gonzo’s always been one of my favorite characters because he marches to the beat of his own drum and is such a misfit. Electric Light Orchestra captured my attention as one of the best prog rock groups — violins, especially in rock and pop, back then, and now, always get me. “Mr. Blue Sky” popped up again in my life after a bad marriage, when living in Pittsburgh with my children.
Which brings me to “Roses” and OutKast — in there mostly as representative of the songs
my children introduced me to in the car on road trips. Plus, it’s still an excellent video. My children are now grown, and I have 7 grandchildren. “Take On Me,” is definitely my favorite music video, and a gay bar in Iowa, where I moved after Pittsburgh, played it often as the closing song of the night after the drag show ended.
In 2012, I moved to Austin to attend the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest, and stayed — loved the idea of the “Keep Austin Weird” support of small businesses and the eclectic, creative atmosphere. The last seven songs come from my life here. “Deep in the Heart of Texas” kept running through my head on my trip to Big Bend. I always hated “Don’t Stop Believin’” when it first came out, but it was played at every “prom” the seminary had, and so now it’s in my heart.
“After the Storm” was the first Mumford & Sons song I ever heard. One of my best friends made me listen to “Oxford Comma” as I did quite a bit of copy-editing work, plus I dressed up for one Halloween as an Oxford comma. “Jive Talkin’” helped me get my job at BookPeople (ask me how), and well, “M79” is my favorite song right now—those lovely violins and offbeat intellectual lyrics help keep me smiling while sitting in Austin traffic.
Well, that’s me, in a playlist. Please feel free to come say “Hi,” on Saturdays when we re-open the store!
I would love to talk books with you!
Thanks for keeping up with us while our doors remain closed to the public. You can listen to Christine’s tunes by following the link here. And while you’re at it, shop Christine’s picks for the Cli-Fi & Cli-Fact in-store display she created. You can find them on BookShop here!